Project Censored Releases Censored 2008 and its pick of the 25 most important under-covered news stories of 2006-07.
Project Censored announces its selection of the Top Censored News Stories of the 2006-2007 cycle. Each year since 1976, hundreds of student researchers, faculty, and volunteer members come together to select the most important news stories that were under-covered, glossed over or ignored by the countryâ€™s major media outlets.
One of these concerns the far-reaching but little reported Indo-US Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture (with a telling acronym of KIA) that will hand Indian agriculture to US agribusiness and open India’s doors to rapacious corporations such as Wal Mart. A brief summary and link follows:
Farmers’ cooperatives in India are defending the nation’s food security and the future of Indian farmers against the neoliberal invasion of genetically modified (GM) seed. As many as 28,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide over the last decade as a result of debt incurred from failed GM crops and competition with subsidized US crops, yet when India’s Prime Minister Singh met with President Bush in March 2006 to finalize nuclear agreements, they also signed the Indo-US Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture (KIA), backed by Monsanto, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), and Wal-Mart. The KIA allows for the grab of India’s seed sector by Monsanto, of its trade sector by giant agribusiness ADM and Cargill, and its retail sector by Wal-Mart.
Though the contours of KIA have been kept so secret that neither senior Indian politicians nor the scientific community know its details, it is clear that Prime Minister Singh has agreed to sacrifice India’s agriculture sector to pay for US concessions in the nuclear field. [more]
Countercurrents.org 11 July, 2007
While the government is trying its best to make us believe that the patent regime will begin another boom in agricultural, a solid mass of protest by NGOs and civil society groups is highlighting the cruelty and negative impacts on farm sector and bio-diversity. In this backdrop, Harsh Dobhal explains, how an unassuming farmer inspired a movement to revive traditional agriculture practices and eroding biodiversity, quietly sowing the seeds of revolution. Chipko movement hit the headlines in the 1970s and now it is written in golden letters of ecological movements across the globe. For the world it is part of memory and nostalgia, but not for the people of Garhwal. They still derive lessons from it and continue to better their lives by adding to the prevailing ecological wisdom by the day.
Combat Law Vol 6 Issue 4, July – August 2007
The struggle for human rights is far from over in the new state of Uttarakhand. Suresh Nautiyal reports on the local organisations’ strong will to pressurise the government to respect human rights and protect the environment through sustainable management of natural resources, for their unrestricted exploitation is detrimental to human rights.
QUOTE – “Any debate is incomplete without the mention of ecological issues and rights of the local people concerning the state. No wonder this was one of the main focus areas of the workshop for the simple reason that we cannot have progress and development at the cost of human being and their rights, particularly in the ecologically fragile regions like Uttarakhand. Also, democracy cannot be an effective tool to reflect peoples’ will as long as there is a threat to ecology and to their rights, given their inter-linkages.”
Chipko Pustakalaya Evam Sanghralaya and Beej Bachao Andolan organized a meeting on 8 May 2007, which was attended by about 50 people from nearby villages besides individuals from Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarkashi,Rishikesh and Dehra Dun. As most of local people reach such meetings only after completing their household chores, this one too started late, around 11.30 a.m.The meeting was called for several reasons. One, GM seeds and crops have been a matter for worldwide concern over the last few years. Then last year, in according an exceptionally large number of GM crops approval for open-field trials with undue haste, the Indian government only exacerbated this concern, while also putting itself under a cloud of suspicion. The meeting was called to have a clearer understanding of the issues and problems related to GM seeds.
But the primary reason for the meeting was that 8 May was the 57th birth anniversary of the late Kunwar Prasoon, and the first after his untimely demise last year. At the same time, the month of May had other significances as well. As Dhoom Singh Negi said, “Besides, Prasoon, 15 th of this month is the birthday of folk poet the late Ghanshyam Sailani. And then, 25th May is the birth anniversary of the eternal martyr Sridev Suman whose parental village Jaul is located in the Henwalghati itself, between Nagni and Chamba. It was because of these three great people that we chose to come together in this month of May so that their memory continue to inspire us in our works.” Continue reading